In a draft resolution on the state of EU-US relations which should be submitted to a full House vote during the September plenary session in Strasbourg, Foreign Affairs Committee MEPs denounced the US administration one-sided “America first” policy. A doctrine that harms the interests of both the EU and the US and undermines mutual trust.
US decision to quit key international deals and start trade war harms EU-US ties, but EU should not give up on transatlantic bond, said today Foreign affairs committee MEPs. In a resolution on the state of EU-US relations, approved by 35 votes to 4, with 2 abstentions, Foreign Affairs Committee MEPs stress that the EU-US relationship is the fundamental guarantor for global stability, but regret that the US administration has chosen a one-sided “America first” policy, that harms the interests of both the EU and the US and undermines mutual trust.
A common basis to be found
“Despite the challenges and new political and economic climate under US President Trump, the transatlantic relationship should not be put in jeopardy, declared Foreign affairs committee rapporteur Elmar Brok (EPP, DE). Without compromising the EU’s values, we should try and find a common basis between the EU and US, so that a global balance is not disturbed. Neither the US nor the EU would profit from that and our western values would be put even more in danger.”
Pointing out a lack of clarity on whether the transatlantic bond still stands for American partners, since the election of US President Trump, MEPs find it difficult to understand the new approaches taken by the US on global issues and regional conflicts. “Unilateral moves only weaken the transatlantic partnership,” the resolution says.
Citing as an example the recent US decision to quit key international agreements, such as the Paris climate agreement, the Iran nuclear deal, or the US will to put extraterritorial measures on EU companies in Iran, MEPs underlined that such décisions were puting at risk common values and the EU-US partnership. They criticise President Trump’s decision to leave the Paris climate agreement, the Iran nuclear deal, and to put extraterritorial measures on EU companies in Iran.
“No dirty deals under pressure”
MEPs did also regret the uncertainty in the international trading system caused by recent US decisions, based on policy tools used before the creation of the WTO and its dispute settlement system. They noted that the US decision to impose steel and aluminium tariffs cannot be justified on the grounds of national security and call on the US to lift them.
“We have made clear that there will be no dirty deals under pressure. If the US insists on pursuing a protectionist and nationalist course, we will not stand by idly, but make full use of the instruments the WTO offers, warned International trade committee rapporteur Bernd Lange (S&D, DE). A positive trade agenda with the US is possible, but that requires the willingness to cooperate on both sides of the Atlantic.”
Photo : Foreign affairs committee rapporteur Elmar Brok (EPP, DE) – AFET committee meeting. Vote on EU-US relations / Dominique Hommel / Copyright © European Union 2018 – Source : EP
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